Press Release Summary: The FTA responded to the governments local road pricing scheme proposal by saying that future schemes must recognize that haulage vehicle deliveries are essential services and should recognise the impact on deliveries to businesses.
Press Release Body: On 4 March the Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly effectively ruled out the prospect of any national road pricing scheme in the foreseeable future but suggested that local schemes under present consideration by local authorities, in conjunction with new investment in public transport, should go ahead.
The Freight Transport Association responded on 11 March by publishing a summary paper on road pricing schemes in England. This examined the ten current prospective schemes which have been awarded grants from the Government's Transport Innovation Fund in order to assess the viability of local road pricing or congestion schemes.
Haul-It Nationwide Ldt's sales director, Gary Shipman, agrees with the FTA that commercial deliveries are an essential service and that shops, offices, schools, restaurants, homes and virtually every other location relies on daily deliveries. Any future road pricing scheme must recognize that haulage vehicle deliveries are, as Stephen Kelly put it, \"essential services\" and local schemes should include the impact on deliveries to businesses in the charged area and the consequential impact on the periphery of the charging zone.
In the long run this means that the cost will be born by everyone, including the end customers, and this needs to be balanced against the accepted need to reduce congestion, not to raise revenue.
The FTA went on to identify a number of conditions that they felt should be fulfilled by such schemes including improved school transport, relaxation of delivery curfews, alternatives for journeys to work, discounts and incentives for the adoption of environmental good practice.
Most importantly there must be the ability to measure the costs and benefits in such a way that each scheme must be inter-operable with any other scheme implemented in the UK and the rest of the EU.